Foyt looking to build on solid WWTR result

Foyt looking to build on solid WWTR result

IndyCar

Foyt looking to build on solid WWTR result

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There was a palpable sense of relief expressed by A.J. Foyt Racing’s team president Larry Foyt after Saturday night’s Bommarito 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway. Prior to Sebastien Bourdais’ arrival, the last time a Foyt driver earned two top five finishes in the same season came five years ago when Takuma Sato took a pair of fifths for Super Tex, and there are a few more opportunities to increase the tally before the year is over.

Add in the fourth-place finish Bourdais delivered for the team to close the 2020 season at St. Petersburg, and the Frenchman’s given the Foyt program its best results in eight lean years, dating back to when Sato won at Long Beach and backed it up with a second in Brazil. Since then, across the introduction of 16 new iPhone models and the installment of three different White House administrations, what’s currently taking place with Bourdais and the No. 14 Chevy is the most competitive scenario the Foyts have experienced since 2013.

Once Bourdais was done spending 260 intense laps turning a poor showing in qualifying into a front-running result, and Dalton Kellett produced his best day as an NTT IndyCar Series driver after placing 12th in the sister Chevy-powered entry, Foyt couldn’t help but offer praise for the rise in fortunes.

“It feels great for the whole team,” he said. “We really needed this. Just been down on our luck for the past couple months, but everybody just kept their heads down. Even though we didn’t qualify great, the strategy finally worked in our favor and we were able to get a top five with Seb, and Dalton had a great race and just missed the top 10 and finished 12th. For the team it was just a really solid night, and it gives us some nice momentum going into the west coast swing.”

In a season where good luck has been sparing and caution periods have hindered the No. 14’s race strategy, a late yellow finally went in Bourdais’ favor and made their strategy work.

“Well, pretty solid day for the ROKiT Chevrolet No. 14 here with AJ Foyt Racing,” Bourdais said. “Obviously, World Wide Technology Raceway has been not a very happy place for me – didn’t finish a lap in 2019 and ended up in the fence. But tonight, we got out a top five after a very hard-fought race. The guys did a really good job in the pits and we didn’t make any mistakes on track, so really happy about the outcome from 18th, that’s a solid day, and looking forward to the end of the season.”

On a night where crashes and mistakes trimmed the field by a considerable amount, Kellett used his smarts to rise from 24th to 12th while holding off former Foyt teammate Tony Kanaan at the finish line.

“That was one of those days that keeps us coming back,” Kellett said. “We’ve had an up and down year, mostly on the down side, but this is our best result of the season so far. Really happy with how the guys performed in pitlane, gave me great stops, making jumps in pitlane and making passes on track. Overall, really happy with how it shook out. It was a good race, the car’s balance felt really good. Long physical race,;we had our work cut out for us, but we managed to execute on everything, just kept driving every lap and kept moving forward.”

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